Natural rubber plantations emerged as a significant source of deforestation, land grabs and human rights abuses in the first decade of the 21st century. The period saw rapid expansion of the area under cultivation for rubber, especially in the Mekong region in South East Asia. In more recent years the industry’s growth has been held in check by a collapse in rubber prices but the problems of environmental devastation and social injustice linked to rubber production have not gone away.
Fern is calling for an EU Action Plan to ensure imports of forest-risk commodities, including rubber, are legally sourced and ecologically viable.
This is the fifth in a series of background notes on agricultural commodities.
Briefing notes in this series: